Ex-Dal­las bishop whose ten­ure marred by scan­dal dies at 87

The Western Star - - OBITUARIES/CANADA -

The Most Rev. Charles Grah­mann, whose 17-year ten­ure as bishop of the Catholic Dio­cese of Dal­las was marred by one of the first church sex abuse scan­dals to ex­plode into pub­lic view, died Tues­day. He was 87.

Grah­mann, who had en­dured a long ill­ness, died dur­ing car­diac surgery in San An­to­nio, ac­cord­ing to cur­rent Bishop Ed­ward Burns.

Grah­mann was the sixth bishop of the Dal­las dio­cese and served from 1990 to 2007, over­see­ing dozens of parishes and up­ward of 800,000 wor­ship­pers. He was ap­pointed in 1982 as the first bishop of the Dio­cese of Victoria, in South Texas, be­fore mov­ing to Dal­las, where he was known for his min­istry to the poor and marginal­ized.

“He built a num­ber of parishes and schools and, of course, em­braced the His­panic com­mu­nity here within the Dio­cese of Dal­las,” Burns said Tues­day. “And it was, of course, dur­ing his ten­ure that he, too, shep­herded this church dur­ing very dif­fi­cult days.”

Burns was re­fer­ring to the case of a priest, Ru­dolph “Rudy” Kos, who in 1998 was sen­tenced to life in prison for sex­u­ally as­sault­ing chil­dren. A Dal­las County jury a year ear­lier re­turned a $120 mil­lion civil judg­ment in favour of 11 vic­tims af­ter find­ing that the Dal­las dio­cese com­mit­ted gross neg­li­gence and con­cealed in­for­ma­tion about its han­dling of Kos.

The judg­ment at that time was the largest ever awarded in the coun­try in­volv­ing a clergy sex abuse case.

Grah­mann had Kos de­frocked and apol­o­gized to the vic­tims, but his time as bishop was dogged by charges that he didn’t move ear­lier to stop Kos from prey­ing on chil­dren. The dio­cese at the time also was ac­cused of fail­ing to re­move at least two oth­ers from the priest­hood who dis­played abu­sive be­hav­iour, ac­cord­ing to the Mas­sachusetts-based re­search and ad­vo­cacy or­ga­ni­za­tion, Bish­opAc­count­abil­ity.org.

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